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Perceptions of safety (for lack of better title)


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I have actual anxiety issues, so I’m never entirely sure if/when my perception is skewed.  I like to think that we just have to roll with most of the risks life brings. My kids climb trees, play in the deep woods, fight fires, treat patients on opioids, eat raw cookie dough...  They could get hurt, but we learn how to minimize risk and carry on.

We live in a semi-rural, touristy area. I live in a gated community, but we’re moving down the road to an ungated  one. I’m on their community page, and I’m getting nervous.

People are posting their videos of people approaching their homes. Unsolicited pest control offers on foot. A strange man going to houses asking for water. A car stopping in front of multiple houses. A woman randomly walking someone’s circular driveway. And now a man who got out of the passenger side of a car (out of state plates), walked up the steps, rang the bell, and immediately turned around and got back in the car without waiting for an answer.  There are, thus far, no reports of harm, damage, or robbery, so that’s good. But (multiple) humans behaving outside of social norms freaks me the heck out!  Teenage hooligans I understand. Adults approaching random houses... not so much. That’s in the past 6 weeks. I didn’t scroll back farther.

And that’s just the immediate area. Last night, there was a hit and run on the state road, and a car fled, dumped their vehicle and stole another from a local gas station/store, minutes after dh and ds left there.  Car accidents are CONSTANT here, primarily due to reckless and intoxicated driving. Rarely genuine “accidents”. But it seems even worse this summer. Dh is called to so many scenes that *he’s* nervous about me and the kids being on the road. He’s never the anxious one.

So now I’m more anxious than usual. But I haven’t been able to convince myself that it isn’t outside of appropriate anxiety. I know my starting point is skewed... but do other people just shrug this stuff off?

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Yes, I shrug all of that stuff off. I might be a little anxious about the car accidents if I actually saw the numbers have increased significantly and wasn't just going off hearing about it more. But it wouldn't affect how I lived my life.

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2 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I have actual anxiety issues, so I’m never entirely sure if/when my perception is skewed.  I like to think that we just have to roll with most of the risks life brings. My kids climb trees, play in the deep woods, fight fires, treat patients on opioids, eat raw cookie dough...  They could get hurt, but we learn how to minimize risk and carry on.

We live in a semi-rural, touristy area. I live in a gated community, but we’re moving down the road to an ungated  one. I’m on their community page, and I’m getting nervous.

People are posting their videos of people approaching their homes. Unsolicited pest control offers on foot. A strange man going to houses asking for water. A car stopping in front of multiple houses. A woman randomly walking someone’s circular driveway. And now a man who got out of the passenger side of a car (out of state plates), walked up the steps, rang the bell, and immediately turned around and got back in the car without waiting for an answer.  There are, thus far, no reports of harm, damage, or robbery, so that’s good. But (multiple) humans behaving outside of social norms freaks me the heck out!  Teenage hooligans I understand. Adults approaching random houses... not so much. That’s in the past 6 weeks. I didn’t scroll back farther.

And that’s just the immediate area. Last night, there was a hit and run on the state road, and a car fled, dumped their vehicle and stole another from a local gas station/store, minutes after dh and ds left there.  Car accidents are CONSTANT here, primarily due to reckless and intoxicated driving. Rarely genuine “accidents”. But it seems even worse this summer. Dh is called to so many scenes that *he’s* nervous about me and the kids being on the road. He’s never the anxious one.

So now I’m more anxious than usual. But I haven’t been able to convince myself that it isn’t outside of appropriate anxiety. I know my starting point is skewed... but do other people just shrug this stuff off?

I am a criminologist by education. I am cautious but not nuts.  There are lots of reasons people come up to doors.  Politicians, cable or internet providers trying to get you to change, people getting security clearances get investigators knocking to ask if someone beats their wife, etc,   Depending on the place and how obstructions are- it could be that the person who came up and walked away immediately was just looking for packages.   I do not worry unless a pattern of crime accompanies.

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Some of those things seem normal to me.  We've always had people come to the door for one reason or another -- power washing company, window replacement company, politicians or political club members canvassing, Jehovah's Witnesses.  It's annoying, but I just tell them no thank you (unless my dog scares them away first.) Some of those can be explained, I think.  Maybe the man ringing the bell suddenly realized he was at the wrong house.  The car stopping in front of houses, maybe they are looking to move or they were looking for someone and forgot which house they lived in.  The man asking for water is weird.  So is the lady walking around the driveway, but maybe she was on a walk and felt like she had the freedom to walk around that driveway. The number of accidents and car theft would unnerve me.  But, I live in a very quiet town, fairly affluent, with an extremely low crime rate.  So my perception might be skewed, as well. 

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4 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

Yes, I shrug all of that stuff off. I might be a little anxious about the car accidents if I actually saw the numbers have increased significantly and wasn't just going off hearing about it more. But it wouldn't affect how I lived my life.

 

1 minute ago, TravelingChris said:

I am a criminologist by education. I am cautious but not nuts.  There are lots of reasons people come up to doors.  Politicians, cable or internet providers trying to get you to change, people getting security clearances get investigators knocking to ask if someone beats their wife, etc,   Depending on the place and how obstructions are- it could be that the person who came up and walked away immediately was just looking for packages.   I do not worry unless a pattern of crime accompanies.

😆 These both help and don’t. 😆 

Dh is not a criminologist, but has a criminal justice degree. He’s less disturbed than I am, but not undisturbed. (Uh... referring to the situation, not our overall mental health, lol.). 
And he’s a responding officer for all the bad accidents so, sadly, it isn’t just a vague impression.

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I have a driveway alarm.   A cheap wireless one.  It beeps every time someone comes into the driveway.   I like that notice so I can see who is in my driveway before they get to the door.  Would that help you?

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None of those seem normal to me, nor have I experienced anything like any of your examples. I’m not an especially anxious person, but those would leave me on guard too, especially since they seem to occur in such abundance. 
 

Idk. We live in a very safe neighborhood in a very safe town in a very safe state. Weird stuff happens, of course, but it’s rare (or I’m just not aware, which is absolutely possible). Still, we double bolt lock all our doors, shut downstairs windows at night, park the cars in the garage…all the general house safety stuff I guess. I keep the front door(or screen if it’s hot) locked during the day. I don’t walk alone in the woods although many women do.

I think in your new situation I would continue these practices and also install a Ring or similar for additional peace of mind. I’d also consider getting a dog—they are often the best deterrents. I wouldn’t be too freaked out, though. Some of it might be regional—a lot of people on the board talk about door to door salesmen and so on that I don’t have in my area. Here it would be considered rude, but in other areas it’s friendly. Maybe as you get to know your new neighbors you can ask them about some of these activities and gauge whether they are just normal for your non-gated communities.
 

 

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6 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Does your new place have a security door?

Otherwise I'd shrug it off. You're existing in the same space as all of those same people whenever you go out already.

We’re looking into our security options now. Personally, I’m eager to get another big dog. We had two giant mushes when the kids were little. Couldn’t hurt a fly, but scary looking and sounding as all get out!

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2 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

I have a driveway alarm.   A cheap wireless one.  It beeps every time someone comes into the driveway.   I like that notice so I can see who is in my driveway before they get to the door.  Would that help you?

Oh man, if we had that it'd be going off all the time because of kids coming and going ALL the time.

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1 minute ago, hjffkj said:

Oh man, if we had that it'd be going off all the time because of kids coming and going ALL the time.

For us, it’s deer and bears.  Even our current “flimsy” camera system is a pain trying to cover our doors without picking up animals all night.

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2 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

 

😆 These both help and don’t. 😆 

Dh is not a criminologist, but has a criminal justice degree. He’s less disturbed than I am, but not undisturbed. (Uh... referring to the situation, not our overall mental health, lol.). 
And he’s a responding officer for all the bad accidents so, sadly, it isn’t just a vague impression.

Before Covid,  we had a rise in crime from out of state or out of area groups.  I haven't checked lately if it has returned.  But in my city people were wondering why the rise in crime---it was because there was a lot of publicity (and it is returning as we were rated #3 in the country by US nEws and Reports) that keeps talking about what a great city we are and how there are so many people here with good salaries, etc.    

The woman wandering the driveway - depending on age- is probably something like mental illness, drug use or dementia  - none of which are particularly dangerous.  

I am not saying not be careful, just don't fret.   Watchful caution is what I would recommend.  

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In a tourist area, especially in a fairly warm climate, I’d assume some of them are salespeople. And others are addicts.  I’d get a video doorbell so you can answer without going to the door.  

While our big dog definitely scared people away with her deep bark, she was usually asleep until the little yappy dog started freaking out. 

Another thing you might consider is a sign.  Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KYFKWL3/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_72X1HMCMA262Z6F3346G?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

We had something similar at our last house and only had 3 bell rings after that.  One pair of very apologetic Mormon missionaries who were talking and didn’t notice the sign until they heard the baby cry inside.  One cult member mumbling about hell that I ended up calling the police on because he refused to leave, and one state senator who insisted on meeting everyone in the district despite the sign.  

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Now that posting has forced me to dig deeper, I probably have personal issues contributing. I haven’t had to worry about toxic relatives showing up because of gates. I haven’t had to worry about revenge seekers for dd’s CPS referrals showing up because of gates. (She had a parent calling around looking for her a few months ago.)   
I mostly hate the gates, but that part of them has alleviated certain anxieties. Thinking about giving up THAT security and then adding community stuff... I guess that’s a heavy combo for me.

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Just now, Katy said:

In a tourist area, especially in a fairly warm climate, I’d assume some of them are salespeople. And others are addicts.  I’d get a video doorbell so you can answer without going to the door.  

While our big dog definitely scared people away with her deep bark, she was usually asleep until the little yappy dog started freaking out. 

Another thing you might consider is a sign.  Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KYFKWL3/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_72X1HMCMA262Z6F3346G?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

We had something similar at our last house and only had 3 bell rings after that.  One pair of very apologetic Mormon missionaries who were talking and didn’t notice the sign until they heard the baby cry inside.  One cult member mumbling about hell that I ended up calling the police on because he refused to leave, and one state senator who insisted on meeting everyone in the district despite the sign.  

I’ve been considering getting a custom sign that prohibits everything except Girl Scout cookie sales. 😄 

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Maybe stay off the community pages if they induce anxiety? You seem so happy with the gates. Why are you moving? Also, a first responder is going to get a skewed view of normal because they see everything all the time. The odds of something happening to an average person aren’t astronomically high. Unless your neighborhood is in decline, you can probably assume the anxiety is playing tricks on you and maybe get treated for it. Are there programs for the families of first responders to help them manage the stress of worrying about their loved ones? 
 

My guess is that people have always done random, unexplained things but now that everyone has a camera and talks about it it seems more significant. 

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I wonder if these things aren’t unusual at all, but it feels more common and thus more threatening now that video doorbells and the subsequent posting on neighborhood sites are so ubiquitous?

I get that it’s NOT common for you, OP, in your current neighborhood. I’d be a little freaked, too, to see these odd behaviors. But I’d take comfort in knowing these behaviors are not followed by reports of actual crimes. And it’s good to know the neighbors let each other know if there’s something to look out for. 

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5 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Maybe stay off the community pages if they induce anxiety? You seem so happy with the gates. Why are you moving? Also, a first responder is going to get a skewed view of normal because they see everything all the time. The odds of something happening to an average person aren’t astronomically high. Unless your neighborhood is in decline, you can probably assume the anxiety is playing tricks on you and maybe get treated for it. Are there programs for the families of first responders to help them manage the stress of worrying about their loved ones? 
 

My guess is that people have always done random, unexplained things but now that everyone has a camera and talks about it it seems more significant. 

We’re primarily moving because we’ve been stuck in a tiny starter home with terrible layout for 16 years.  It’s also a very high dues community with its own normal problems, just not random strangers wandering through. And the gates are a pain to actually get through with so many airbnbers lining up (or trying to without reading signs.)

I agree with first responders being skewed from the average person. I’m more concerned with the real increase over the years. And, honestly, my personal experience. There’s almost never a day that I don’t get passed by crazy drivers when I’m going 5-10 over the speed limit on winding roads. People are maniacs out there!

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Fwiw, my standard plan with stuff like this is take an anxiety pill (I have Buspar, short acting, taken as needed) and just see what improves. Then I know ok my response was amped by my chemistry or no it was rational and I feel the same way. 

To me, what you're describing is a bit on edge, something that would come down with a med. And sometimes when you take the med (or some chamomile tea! or GABA or P5P or whatever tends to work for you) it puts you in a better place to sort out an action plan. Once you are stressed, your body goes in fright/flight and your rational thinking and rational problem solving freezes. So to get your problem solving back online, you need to break that cycle. 

For me, I know what I'm doing is working (the med, chamomile, whatever) when I've moved from repeatedly thinking about it to problem solving and action.

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25 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

you can probably assume the anxiety is playing tricks on you and maybe get treated for it.

Oh, and I’ve tried for years to get treated. My real progress has would up mostly being “self help” and my only med is antihistamines that I can only take if an impromptu nap isn’t a problem.
Since I “function”, no therapist or MD believes I need more help! 

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15 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I agree with first responders being skewed from the average person. I’m more concerned with the real increase over the years.

So what are you going to DO about it? Install security lights? Move? 

16 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

There’s almost never a day that I don’t get passed by crazy drivers when I’m going 5-10 over the speed limit on winding roads. People are maniacs out there!

Do you think it's possible (ahem) that you're getting older, reactions slowing down, and that's part of it. I don't know your age, just being realistic. I live outside a major city and the normal speed in the city is 80 when it's signed at 65. If it's signed 70, expect at least 80, sometimes 85. Now that doesn't mean people don't get ticketed, but most cops give 4-7 mph in a state anyway. 

So the issue is what you're going to DO about the things worrying you. One, right them out on a list. Two, make a column about what you can do about them. Put at the top of the list feeling worried, and put beside it talking with your doctor. :smile: I take P5P, 5HTP , etc. for my every day levels of constant anxiety. Having a short acting med for situational stuff (Buspar, hydroxyzine, whatever you like) is totally appropriate for some people. 

Another thing you can do that is evidence based for anxiety is body scan. Take 10-15 minutes and lie in bed and scan, head to toe, really payign attention to body parts (internal and external) and how they feel, naming how they feel, going deep into how they feel (spots that hurt, etc.). You may feel more calm/centered after this, which might help you move to action.

I knew it was time for a med when I was doing all my other strategies (bodywork, supplements, Scripture meditation, etc.) and they weren't enough. Gotta love chemistry. I chose not to be a victim of mine, lol.

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12 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

Oh, and I’ve tried for years to get treated. My real progress has would up mostly being “self help” and my only med is antihistamines that I can only take if an impromptu nap isn’t a problem.
Since I “function”, no therapist or MD believes I need more help! 

Hydroxyzine will make you sleepy, but it's an antihistamine and anxiolytic. You could take it at night before bed if things keep going through your mind.

Honestly, I had to go in and YELL AND MY DOCTOR before he would do anything. I'm not saying be disrespectful and get locked up, but I sorta had a meltdown and let it show. :biggrin:

PS. P-doc would probably make this happen. 

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

I mostly hate the gates, but that part of them has alleviated certain anxieties. Thinking about giving up THAT security and then adding community stuff... I guess that’s a heavy combo for me.

Dogs are a major deterrent. 

I'm sorry you're worried you're moving into an area where you won't feel safe. What would it take to make you feel safe there? We live in a location that only gets people nefariously (drunk, exploring, trespassing). Through the years we have typically had an outside dog, a very big one, for security.

You might try writing all these worries out in a list to then talk through with your SO for problem solving.

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

And he’s a responding officer for all the bad accidents so, sadly, it isn’t just a vague impression.

Maybe take a vacation? Cruising is resuming. :biggrin:

My dh will bring stress home from work. Even if he doesn't talk about it, I *feel* it and start hurting all over. With COVID people haven't been taking breaks who need them. 

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Can you put a gate on your driveway? Even in it’s just a gate to bar entrance many people won’t bother to park and walk up to the house. Or just a fence across the front of the property with a gate if you don’t fence the whole property. 
 

to be honest, I felt the same way when I moved out here because I’d never lived anywhere but in a neighborhood.

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44 minutes ago, Hyacinth said:

I wonder if these things aren’t unusual at all, but it feels more common and thus more threatening now that video doorbells and the subsequent posting on neighborhood sites are so ubiquitous?

I get that it’s NOT common for you, OP, in your current neighborhood. I’d be a little freaked, too, to see these odd behaviors. But I’d take comfort in knowing these behaviors are not followed by reports of actual crimes. And it’s good to know the neighbors let each other know if there’s something to look out for. 

Yes this is about where I fall.  I do think odd behavior is up….more addicts and homeless people etc.  At the same time homeowners tolerance is waaay down for other humans just being human. My mom had a gun pulled on her!  And the woman was topless. 
 

Neighborhood pages are good and bad.  My town page is one huge mess.  It is hard to read through the garbage to see any actual concerns.  

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9 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Can you put a gate on your driveway? Even in it’s just a gate to bar entrance many people won’t bother to park and walk up to the house. Or just a fence across the front of the property with a gate if you don’t fence the whole property. 
 

to be honest, I felt the same way when I moved out here because I’d never lived anywhere but in a neighborhood.

My sister has a gate at her driveway. They all have remotes and can remotely let people in.  

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We live in a very rural, secluded spot. We have no neighbors within a mile and our house is set 1/2 mile back from the road.

Here’s what we do:

Gate

Outdoor security cameras

Security system in house

A big pack of dogs

The means and knowledge of how to protect ourselves if someone got in the house (our county is so rural and spread out that it might take police an hour to get here)

Just common sense precautions - like keeping doors locked and not leaving the garage doors open

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10 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Hydroxyzine will make you sleepy, but it's an antihistamine and anxiolytic. You could take it at night before bed if things keep going through your mind.

Honestly, I had to go in and YELL AND MY DOCTOR before he would do anything. I'm not saying be disrespectful and get locked up, but I sorta had a meltdown and let it show. :biggrin:

PS. P-doc would probably make this happen. 

Oh, I sleep like a baby these days. Thoughts don’t keep me up at night, they just don’t shut up during the day. 

5 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Dogs are a major deterrent. 

I'm sorry you're worried you're moving into an area where you won't feel safe. What would it take to make you feel safe there? We live in a location that only gets people nefariously (drunk, exploring, trespassing). Through the years we have typically had an outside dog, a very big one, for security.

You might try writing all these worries out in a list to then talk through with your SO for problem solving.

Ya know, I’ve come up with all the plausible ones. We’ll have a security system, we’ll eventually get a (more than 4lb) dog…. I schedule my errands as best as possible to avoid the most drivers. We’re even getting a lockable mailbox, because mail theft is becoming an issue in the greater area.  I don’t feel like I’m missing any solutions that are truly within my control. 

4 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Maybe take a vacation? Cruising is resuming. :biggrin:

My dh will bring stress home from work. Even if he doesn't talk about it, I *feel* it and start hurting all over. With COVID people haven't been taking breaks who need them. 

That’d be nice!  Unfortunately, dh doesn’t have room for vacation until the winter. But I hear every fire dept. call that comes in, so he doesn’t even have to talk about it.   Even when they’re during his real job hours, my kids have their own alerts so I can take them to some calls!  
We’re scary low on active volunteers. 

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39 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

Oh, and I’ve tried for years to get treated. My real progress has would up mostly being “self help” and my only med is antihistamines that I can only take if an impromptu nap isn’t a problem.
Since I “function”, no therapist or MD believes I need more help! 

Yeah, I got a prescription of hydarzine.   

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I'm not telling you NOT to be cautious, but over the years, I've done many things that might be caught on film as "abnormalities", now.  

I've parked in front of houses while waiting for children in music lessons or language therapy. I've slow-rolled through neighborhoods looking through side yards into the back yards to see how far the fenceline was set back, as we searched for realty. Or looked at the lakeshore or whatever view beyond the back yards. I've turned around in strangers' driveways on occasion. 

Can't say I've ever gotten out of the car or rung a doorbell, unless it was to attempt to deliver mail to a neighbor if it was incorrectly sorted in with ours.  (That's happened more than a few times.) 

I have loitered in a car under a shady tree more times than I can count while I've waited for something or someone. 

Anyhow, listen to your gut, but not all of the things you mentioned would be alarming. 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

tly, I had to go in and YELL AND MY DOCTOR before he would do anything. I'm not saying be disrespectful and get locked up, but I sorta had a meltdown and let it show

I can attest that this works.  Bursting out in tears when the doctor asks a question gets all sorts of a response, and decent meds.   It wasn’t done in purpose, but man did it work.  

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37 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

At the same time homeowners tolerance is waaay down for other humans just being human. My mom had a gun pulled on her!  And the woman was topless. 
 

Neighborhood pages are good and bad.  My town page is one huge mess.  It is hard to read through the garbage to see any actual concerns.  

This.

My community FB page is filled with what to me (a lifelong resident of this part of the county) is total nuttery. People get their knickers knotted about the simplest, most mundane things. And the crime rate here is really, really low and it's almost all petty stuff. So I don't know why so many people seem so on edge. They'll post about somebody driving by their house slowly or turning around in their driveway. Good grief. I worry much more about what some over the top gun enthusiast with a "'Murica attitude" might do than I worry about someone knocking on my door for nefarious reasons. A couple of weeks ago DH wanted to drive through our old neighborhood, where we lived about twenty years ago, just to see how it looked now. He was going really slow, taking his time looking around. It made me very nervous, 'cause I'm the one on FB who knows how the nutters are. I figured at worst somebody might come out waving a gun, and at best we might be posted on the community FB with somebody asking if anybody knew who we were. In fairness, it seems to me that a lot of the people with over the top concerns are probably people who've moved here fairly recently. It doesn't seem to be any of the people who've lived here forever. It all seems ridiculous to me, but (obviously) I'm speaking of my area, and it's an area I know extremely well, and we don't get many tourists. So I don't know if it applies at all to @Carrie12345's area or situation. Just throwing out what I'm gathering locally, and that at least with our community page you could get a very inaccurate view of what's really going on.

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I'll second the suggestion of a good, tall fence around the property, including across the driveway. Since you're thinking of getting a big dog, it'll be great for them to have the room to run, and you can worry less. Or if the property is too big, then still fence the area around the house and driveway. Maybe even put a sign on the gate saying not to open because the dog might be outside. Maybe one of those speaker systems where they can buzz you from the gate to identify themselves?

Most of the things you list seem fairly normal to me: certainly we get sales visits and religious groups, and the odd person just stopping for random reasons. I tend to assume they're answering the phone, or something innocent. We're in a low crime, stable area, so nothing has really made me suspect worse motives.

The driving behavior does worry me, but as you say, pretty much all you can do there is try to avoid the worst times. Is your new house far enough from your old house that the driving behavior is significantly different?

I'll also agree with pp that, er, communication techniques go a long way towards getting the necessary medicine.

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10 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

So I don't know if it applies at all to @Carrie12345's area or situation. Just throwing out what I'm gathering locally, and that at least with our community page you could get a very inaccurate view of what's really going on.

Yeah, like I said, my current community does have its own craziness. TONS of complaining on FB pages about speeding, dogs, kids, garbage pick ups, fireworks, vacationers, etc. And about the gates and our private security team, lol.   Lots of posted videos of curious bears. Just not much about strange people. 

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We got a Ring security system which works pretty well. 
I know what you mean about driving. People in my area regularly run stop signs, as in blow right through 4 way stops, and basically drive like idiots. What has helped me a lot, especially mentally, is that I just expect people to disobey the rules of the road. Everyone. Every time I approach an intersection, I don’t expect people to stop. And I drive like that. Extremely defensively.

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16 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

Is your new house far enough from your old house that the driving behavior is significantly different

Nope. It’s basically like moving a few blocks over in the suburbs, or even a block down in a major city. Same path to all the same places once you exit the neighborhood. 

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When we joined a similar posting app, we saw all the same kinds of posts. Stuck with it for a few years hoping it would be useful and friendly. Honestly, ime it has just been fodder for paranoia. There is no real crime here and not one of those “shady” people has ever been connected to an actual crime. I finally gave up in exasperation recently.

Edited by Harriet Vane
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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

But I hear every fire dept. call that comes in, so he doesn’t even have to talk about it.   Even when they’re during his real job hours, my kids have their own alerts so I can take them to some calls!  

Oh my. My dh's work calls used to also ring at the house. We got digital phones and set things up with distinctive rings (house vs. business calls) and delayed rings for business. If you have digital phones, you could see if his calls could transfer to a *text* to him or a call to his cell. Then have it ring at the house just with the delayed ring. So if nobody picks up the office calls, then it will ring at my house after say the 3rd ring. The phone still shows red (incoming call), but I don't hear it unless it's not picked up by the 3rd ring. My house no longer sounds like a taxi company that way, lol.

 

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The things you describe are all normal behavior for my part of town—unsolicited sales people, porch pirates, weird interactions, etc. People post to complain about it all of the time, but I don’t view it as a safety concern.

We have cameras. Actually, our whole neighborhood is wired pretty tight. It happened after a neighbor left a garage open and there was a theft. It was opportunistic property theft—not damage to people. My safety concerns are focused on people, not stuff, so I feel pretty safe here.

Anxiety meds and coping strategies are good. As we age, I think perimenopausal hormone shifts do a number on us. I have a number of friends who have all developed anxiety in their mid-40s who then eventually recalibrated….

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I live in a very quiet suburb with minimal crime.  In the decade that we have lived here, there has been exactly one homicide (which turned out to be a brother killing his sister- truly awful but not a crime where someone was killed by an intruder).  

If I were to go by what some people post online on Facebook or NextDoor, I would think I lived in a place where nefarious people up to no good were constantly roaming the streets.  A car backfires or a kid has some firecrackers and these people are online insisting they just heard multiple gunshots.  I stopped following the FB group because I just didn’t need to see all of those “I heard a noise” and “I saw a person walking” posts.

 I think it is good to be aware and take some precautions but try to keep things in perspective.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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14 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

I live in a very quiet suburb with minimal crime.  In the decade that we have lived here, there has been exactly one homicide (which turned out to be a brother killing his sister- truly awful but not a crime where someone was killed by an intruder).  

If I were to go by what some people post online on Facebook or NextDoor, I would think I lived in a place where nefarious people up to no good were constantly roaming the streets.  A car backfires or a kid has some firecrackers and these people are online insisting they just heard multiple gunshots.  I stopped following the FB group because I just didn’t need to see all of those “I heard a noise” and “I saw a person walking” posts.

 I think it is good to be aware and take some precautions but try to keep things in perspective.  

Or Sonic is out of straws. McDonald got my order wrong.  Get a life people. 

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I’m the one who was complaining about people showing up during dinner to inquire about plumbing repairs, etc. Many suggested a sign. I was reading through this thread and clicked the link above for the sign. I also found this one that might work in our situation, and maybe for you, too. It’s not just a no solicitation sign. It’s a “don’t knock unless you are expected” sign. I’m not unfriendly, but if I put that sign out, I would feel like a mean, grumpy, crunchy lady, lol. BUT I love it. It’s how I feel when people just keep showing up here! I might get bold and get it. I’d have to convince Dh, though.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UFQV0H6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_HYGH399JHF04MQXSA65W?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

If it makes you feel better, we, of course don’t live in a gated community. We live rural, and it’s nice here. However, there are some nearby areas where there are more shady things going on. We’ve been here for years, and we’ve only ever had nuisance calls at our door. 

You are used to the feeling of living gated. I bet when you have lived a few months or years in an ungated area, you will feel better when you see things probably aren’t as bad as you had imagined.

But if you put a sign out, it will keep most of the nuisance calls away. Heck, you could put a big beware of dog sign out, too, to discourage any one who may be up to no good. They don’t know your dogs aren’t vicious. It might give you extra peace of mind. 
 

Honestly, if I put out a sign for everything I really wanted, I’d have all these:

Do not drive across our road bank sign. (We have this one). 

Beware of dog sign (Have one, but it’s not out).

No solicitation/and or no unexpected callers sign.

No trespassing.

Something I learned: A beware of dog sign needs certain wording which can vary by state. It protects you from being liable if your dog attacks an intruder. Mine needs to say, in addition to beware of dog, No Trespassing AND Not Responsible for Injury or Death. Now, I don’t even have a dog, but I would put this out anyway, and the wording makes the warning seem legit and ominous. I had it made when I did have a dog that most likely would have attacked an intruder. 

You will be fine. Do whatever you need to give yourself peace and give yourself time to adjust. 

Again, we just have a bunch of supper interrupters, but they are just annoyances. You won’t have that because your husband is not a plumber!! Lol.
 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, LucyStoner said:

I live in a very quiet suburb with minimal crime.  In the decade that we have lived here, there has been exactly one homicide (which turned out to be a brother killing his sister- truly awful but not a crime where someone was killed by an intruder).  

If I were to go by what some people post online on Facebook or NextDoor, I would think I lived in a place where nefarious people up to no good were constantly roaming the streets.  A car backfires or a kid has some firecrackers and these people are online insisting they just heard multiple gunshots.  I stopped following the FB group because I just didn’t need to see all of those “I heard a noise” and “I saw a person walking” posts.

 I think it is good to be aware and take some precautions but try to keep things in perspective.  

This.  Exactly.

Our NextDoor is full of suspicious cars driving slowly, or parked in a neighborhood.  People walking.  And so on.  Also, our Ring feed.  Everything sounds like a gunshot, everything is suspicious.  It’s stress-inducing, so I stopped following after spending some time talking with a detective we know, who had some thoughts about it all.  Basically, it’s useful occasionally, like when there are teens checking car doors late at night, but mostly around here it’s contributing to an overall suspicious tone.  YMMV, and I’m sure it varies by area, but I can attest that we live in a very safe area, but to hear people talk on the community sites - we are in a crime-ridden, dangerous place.  

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1 hour ago, Spryte said:

This.  Exactly.

Our NextDoor is full of suspicious cars driving slowly, or parked in a neighborhood.  People walking.  And so on.  Also, our Ring feed.  Everything sounds like a gunshot, everything is suspicious.  It’s stress-inducing, so I stopped following after spending some time talking with a detective we know, who had some thoughts about it all.  Basically, it’s useful occasionally, like when there are teens checking car doors late at night, but mostly around here it’s contributing to an overall suspicious tone.  YMMV, and I’m sure it varies by area, but I can attest that we live in a very safe area, but to hear people talk on the community sites - we are in a crime-ridden, dangerous place.  

I'm always a little amused by my neighbors who hear any loud noise and think "gunshot" and not "I live in a place where that is exceedingly unlikely to be a gunshot".  I have lived in neighborhoods where gun shots were heard from time to time.  If your reaction to what you think is a gunshot is to go online and post that you think you heard a gunshot, it's probably NOT a gun shot.  

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We don't have any community pages where I live (not enough neighbors), so I don't see anyone freaking out about the types of things you mention. But our sheriff just released a statement warning people that crime has gone up recently in our county, and break ins and thefts from rural properties are on the rise. He said that much of the crime is due to addicts who are looking to steal anything they can get their hands on to fuel their addiction. 

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Oh my. My dh's work calls used to also ring at the house. We got digital phones and set things up with distinctive rings (house vs. business calls) and delayed rings for business. If you have digital phones, you could see if his calls could transfer to a *text* to him or a call to his cell. Then have it ring at the house just with the delayed ring. So if nobody picks up the office calls, then it will ring at my house after say the 3rd ring. The phone still shows red (incoming call), but I don't hear it unless it's not picked up by the 3rd ring. My house no longer sounds like a taxi company that way, lol.

 

Oh, no, not phone calls. Fire pagers and radios. Meant to wake people up at all hours of the night. (Or day) Otherwise people would just die and the mountain would burn!

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